Manchester United Reserve Team Player (uncredited)
Newcastle Supporter (uncredited)
Chinese Chef (uncredited)
Alexander von Roon
Val's Husband (uncredited)
Himself (Newcastle vs Liverpool match referee) (uncredited)
Did you know?
The final scene where Santiago scores to win the game against Liverpool F.C. is the actual goal scored by Laurent Robert in real life. It is noticeable that Santiago, a right footed player throughout the movie, shoots with his left foot in this scene.
The role of main character Santiago was originally going to be played by Diego Luna but he left to work on other projects. Kuno Becker actually called Diego before he took the role to hear Diego's reasons for not taking the role.
Michael Winterbottom was the original director of the film. Production had actually begun when he left the project because the Producers demanded the script to be finished prior to commencing Principal Photography.
To play in the English Premiership, if you are from outside the EU, you have to have a work permit. You automatically qualify for one if you have played in 75% of your national teams matches in the past year. Otherwise, you have to go to a tribunal where it has to be shown that you are an outstanding talent that is worthy of a permit. Since he had to basically beg for a trial, it would be highly unlikely that he would win a decision in a tribunal.
When Santiago is kicking balls into dumpsters in a back alley, he's clearly right footed. However the free-kick he scores against Liverpool at the end of the film is taken by a left footer (Laurent Robert).